Tour de France

Tour de France stage six: Sagan outsprints Greipel to earn third victory

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) outsprinted Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) in a thrilling finish on stage six of the Tour de France – but a number of overall contenders lost significant time after a huge crash with 25km remaining.

Peter Sagan celebrates his third stage win

The stage was thrown into chaos by a pile-up which ripped through the peloton, with Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan-Trek), Janez Brajkovic (Astana), Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) all finishing more than two minutes adrift.

Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda) lost more than 13 minutes, while Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) could not contest the final sprint after being held up by the crash and finishing in a group with Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), approximately six minute down.

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) both stayed out of trouble and crossed the line in the lead group with race leader Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan-Trek).

The stage represented the final opportunity for the sprinters to make their mark before the race heads into the mountains on Saturday and a break made up of David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda), Davide Malacarne (Europcar), Romain Zingle (Cofidis) and Karsten Kroon (SaxoBank-Tinkoff) was allowed to build up an advantage of more than six minutes.

Kroon won the intermediate sprint from the quartet, while Goss was best of the rest ahead of Cavendish and Sagan. Greipel again opted to sit out of the sprint.

The break’s lead dropped to less than two minutes as the escapees crested the only climb of the stage: the category four ascent of the Côte de Buxières, as the sprinters teams upped the pace.

But, on a downhill stretch of straight road, a touch of wheels at the front of the peloton left bikes and riders strewn across the tarmac, leaving Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp-Barracuda) forced to abandon the race due to his injuries, and groups of riders chasing  in an attempt to regain contact with the lead group.

Sagan, Greipel and Goss all avoided the pile-up and the escapees were finally caught inside the final three kilometres, with Zabriskie the last to relent, with the Lotto-Belisol and Orice-GreenEDGE sprint trains dominating the finale in support of Greipel and Goss respectively.

But it was Sagan, whose exploits so far in the race have earned him a reputation as the man to beat on uphill finishes, who demonstrated his raw speed to out-gun the duo and increase his lead in the green jersey competition, with the Slovak on 209 points and second placed Goss on 178.

Discuss on the forum


1) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Liquigas-Cannondale 4:37.00 hours
2) André Greipel (GER) – Lotto Belisol – same time
3) Matt Goss (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE
4) Kenny Van Hummel (NED) – Vacansoleil-DCM
5) Juan José Haedo (ARG) – SaxoBank-Tinkoff Bank
6) Greg Henderson (NZL) – Lotto-Belisol
7) Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) – Lampre-ISD
8) Luca Paolini (ITA) – Katusha
9) Daryl Impey (RSA) – Orica-GreenEDGE
10) Brett Lancaster (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE +4″

General classification

1) Fabian Cancellara (SWI) RadioShack-Nissan-Trek – 29:22.36 hours
2) Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team Sky +7″
3) Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +7″
4) Tejay Van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing +10″
5) Denis Menchov (RUS) Katusha +13″
6) Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC Racing +17″
7) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Liquigas-Cannondale +18″
8) Peter Sagan (SVK) Liquigas-Cannondale +19″
9) Andreas Klöden (GER) – RadioShack-Nissan-Trek – same time
10) Maxime Monfort (BEL) – RadioShack-Nissan-Trek +22″

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